SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Nearly 60 percent of Americans said that they plan to travel for Memorial Day weekend, according to a survey conducted by The Vacationer. Of those, most say they will brave gas prices and travel by car.
The high volume of travelers will make for heavy traffic across the Bay Area.
“Even with a significant increase in gas prices, we expect a large jump in holiday driving compared to the last few years,” said Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst at INRIX. “Drivers should expect congestion on major roadways around big cities and popular destinations.”
Gas prices are surging nationwide, with AAA numbers showing Monday that the national average for gas is $4.60 per gallon. In California, it is even higher — the statewide average is $6.07, easily the highest in the country.
Just a year ago, the nationwide average was $3.04 per gallon. A month ago, it was $4.12.
According to Gas Buddy, the cheapest gas in the Bay Area can be found in Antioch, at 76, located at 2700 Hillcrest Avenue. Gas at that station was priced at $5.44 per gallon on Monday. The cheapest gas in San Francisco was $5.87 Monday, at ARCO stations located at 1175 Fell Street and 1798 Mission Street.
Traffic: Best and worst times to hit the road
According to traffic analysis company INRIX, Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27 will be the busiest travel days. On those days, drivers could see travel times that area twice as long as a normal trip.
Regardless of the day you’re on the road, INRIX advises starting early. However, drivers should avoid the roads in the early afternoon.
|Day||Worst Time||Best Time|
|Thursday||1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||Before 6:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.|
|Friday||12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.||Before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.||Before 10:00 a.m.|
|Sunday||1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.||Before 10:00 a.m.|
|Monday||1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.||Before 11:00 a.m.|
If there is one road to avoid in particular, INRIX says it is I-80 westbound between Gilman Street and Civic Center. The website predicts 105 percent more traffic than normal and says it will be worth between 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. on Thursday.
Top travel destinations
Plenty of Memorial Day travelers have Disney fever. Orlando ranks as the top U.S. Memorial Day weekend travel destination and Anaheim is fifth, according to AAA. Seattle (No. 2), Miami (No. 3) and Las Vegas (No. 4) round out AAA’s list of top American destinations. Vancouver, Dublin and Paris top the list of international destinations.